The Playgoer: Israel speaks

Custom Search

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Israel speaks

This just in from the AP on today's Israeli elections:

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel's three main TV stations predicted that acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's centrist Kadima Party would win Tuesday's election but would get fewer seats than expected.

The polls indicated that Kadima, founded by Ariel Sharon before his debilitating stroke, would not be able to rule on its own and would need partners to form a center-left coalition. The party has said it would act on its own if necessary to establish Israel's final borders by 2010.In Gaza, Hamas said it would resist Olmert's plan to draw the borders.

The Labor Party, which favors a negotiated settlement with the Arabs, came in a strong second. The hard-line Likud, which dominated Israeli politics for three decades and opposes Olmert's plan to withdraw from much of the West Bank, came in a distant third, according to polls broadcast immediately after voting ended.

In sum: the somewhat more liberal direction taken by Ariel Sharon in his final pre-coma days has apparently been endorsed by the Israeli people. The only other party to gain more votes was the Labor party to the left "which favors a negotiated settlement with the Arabs." The party of no-negotiation looks to be "a distant third."

In other words: the ultimate "Jewish Community" has now been "polled." And even they say: let's rethink this Gaza thing.

What are the odds tomorrow, do you think, of Jim Nicola announcing: "In light of recent headlines from the Middle East--the triumph of a Labor-Kadima coalition, the vindication of Sharon's more pragmatic turn-- it is inappropriate not to produce My Name is Rachel Corrie and so it will open here next month."

(Again, Playgoer is not a licensed MidEast blogger. I report, you decide.)


freespeechlover said...

My dear son, playgoer:

After being the "good" mother and complementing your research skills, I am afraid I have to respond to your remark on the "conflict." You've said this is "terra unfirma" for you, so please don't be angry with me for any inadvertent didactism on my part. I swear, I'm not trying to be the phallic mother, like Lynn Moffatt to Jim Nicola. Honest.

I have done academic research in the Palestinian Territories, and it is very difficult to construe Prime Minister Sharon's "turn" as "liberal," except from the point of view of the most racist elements in Israeli politics. And the U.S. Congress, which is not known for being fair and balanced when it comes to support for Israeli policies.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there are parties running in Israel's elections that advocate ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. So, in that sense, you're right that Sharon/Olmert/Kadima is "liberal" or "pragmatic" as the U.S. press is want to call it. But what Olmert/Kadima propose is to leave the Palestinians stuck in little Bantustans and maybe, if the Bush administration insists on it for all it has done for the Sharon administration, to allow the Palestinians to call these bantustans a "state."

On this conflict, the U.S. administration sees through a glass very darkly. In addition, Bush went down in a struggle with Sharon during Israel's invasion of the Palestinian population centers in 2003. We have Bush's Christian Zionists like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell to thank for that defeat as well as Sharon's going to the U.S. Congress. You can always count on Congress to be to the right of Israeli politics on Israeli politics.

Here's an interview for you or anyone else to get a Palestinian perspective on the Israeli election. The Israeli Election and the Prospects for Peace, Audio, The Wire, 28 March 2006.

click on podcast to listen

I know, I know, your AP report was just to make a point about Nicola's sticking his finger in the air to see which way the political winds were blowing, but.

Scott Walters said...

To a man with a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail.

Anonymous said...

Jo-Ann Mort at TPM Cafe with the best analysis I've seen yet on how a new coalition might form: